Sunday, August 19, 2012

Religious Freedom - #4140 - UPDATE: Rutherford Institute Files Habeas Corpus Petition in Federal District Court for Phoenix Man Jailed for Home Bible Studies - Rutherford Institute



Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona in the case of a Phoenix man who is serving a 60-day jail sentence and was fined more than $12,000 for using his private residential property to host a weekly Bible study, allegedly in violation of the city’s building codes. Institute attorneys are challenging the legality of Michael Salman’s imprisonment as a violation of his First Amendment and statutory rights to religious freedom and assembly, in addition to challenging the City’s assertion that if a person holds Bible studies or other forms of religious worship at his residence, he is required to comply with all local laws relating to an actual church that is open to the public. This latest filing comes after Institute attorneys petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court for habeas corpus relief, to no avail. Upon his eventual release from Lower Buckeye Jail, Salman will additionally be subjected to home arrest and random home inspections for allegedly violating his probation by continuing to hold Bible studies on his private property after being ordered not to have more than 12 people gathered on his property at any one time. The Rutherford Institute’s fact sheet on the Salman case is available here. “While Michael Salman should never have been charged with a crime for simply exercising his religious beliefs on his own property, to keep him in prison while the question of his basic rights is being considered is the ultimate injustice,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “The continued imprisonment of Michael Salman for simply worshipping God with his family and friends on his own property demonstrates the lengths to which government bureaucrats will go in service of imposing dubious regulations on average citizens.”  Read more.........

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